Archive : Standard To Dismiss 1700

From Our Correspondent

The Standard Motor Company announced today that 1,700 hourly paid employees at its Coventry factories are to be declared redundant.

The company intends to begin a three-day week for its remaining 6,300 manual workers. Dismissals are also to take place among the company’s 1,400 staff employees, though the extent of these is not yet known. An official of the clerical section of the Transport and General Workers’ Union put the total as at least 200.

A meeting tonight of several hundred of the staff workers passed a resolution declaring that they would not accept redundancy while they considered short- time working practical.

Since September 8,000 workers at Standard’s Coventry works have been on short time. Some 2,000 of these have been engaged on a 19 hour 2-5 day week. News of the redundancies was broken today to union officials at a meeting at the Coventry and District Engineering Employers’ Association. A statement by the company said the moves were being made

“in view of the general situation in the motor industry “.

The number of men affected was about equal, the firm said, to the increase in its labour force during the past 12 months.

“Discussions will be taking place during the next two weeks with the trade union representatives in accordance with an agreed procedure for dealing with such questions “, the statement concluded. In some sections at Standard’s the labour force is to be cut by as much as half. The largest number of men to be dismissed-916-is on the assembly lines at the company’s main factory at Canley. In the machine shop at the same works there will be 260 dismissals.

Mr Cyril Taylor, secretary of the Coventry District Committee of the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions. which discussed the decision tonight, said: “I cannot see how Standard’s could have avoided the situation, but it is an unhappy one, particularly approaching Christmas”.

The 1,700 men affected are to be given a week’s notice or a week’s pay in lieu on November 22. The total number of vacancies for men in Coventry in the general engineering, vehicle, aircraft, and electrical engineering fields is about 400, the Coventry employment exchange said tonight. While Standard’s were announcing their redundancy plans, a strike at their works at Tile Hill, Coventry, halted work on body panels for Triumph Herald cars. The strike, by a small number of sheet metal workers, was over a dispute regarding work inspection. More than 500 men had to be sent home.

Birmingham District Committee of the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions last night passed a resolution expressing concern  “at the deterioration in the motor car industry and apparent lack of any move by the Government to arrest it “.

The meeting decided to ask for talks with Birmingham Labour M.P.s and also to ask the national executive of the confederation to convene a meeting of motor industry delegates.

OXFORD, Nov. 8

A further 550 workers at the Cowley factory of the Pressed Steel Company, Oxford, which makes bodies for the car industry, are to be made redundant. This reduction in the labour force, which will operate on the principle of  “last in first out “, will be phased over the next two or three weeks.

The first 200 will receive their dismissal notices on Friday. Of the 550 workers affected about 50 are women. Already about 200 workers at the Cowley factory have lost their jobs.

Keith Adams
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